Library promoting community literacy through reading challenge

Sylvan Lake Municipal Library staff are providing the community with a reading challenge.

Sylvan Lake Municipal Library staff are once again aiming to promote literacy in the community through their annual reading challenge.

Sylvan Lake Municipal Library staff are once again aiming to promote literacy in the community through their annual reading challenge.

Sylvan Lake Municipal Library staff are providing the community with a reading challenge. The 2015 Community Reading Challenge Checklist is based on Canadian literature and includes a list of 24 different reading categories. Some of the categories include a book set on the East Coast, a Canada Reads- nominated book and a book of poetry by a Canadian poet.

The challenge is now in its third year. Staff brought it back after reviewing positive feedback from community members who had previously enjoyed participating in it.

“We have a lot of people who go home and try to complete it,” said programmer Corrie Brown. “The feedback that we’ve gotten is that people think it’s a great idea and they like it.”

The challenge began in January and will run until December, but readers are welcome to enter at any point throughout the year.

“Anything that people have read since the start of January can be added to the list, if it’s applicable to the categories,” Brown said. “This works out to about two books a month.”

Readers get to pick their own books of any length. If they get stuck finding books to read, they can go to the library for helpful suggestions. Bookmarks  listing title and author suggestions based on the challenge checklist will soon be available.

“Nowhere on the list does it tell you that you have to read a thick, heavy read,” Brown said. “It can be an easy read. It can be a tiny little 100-page book.”

Once readers have finished reading four of the 24 book categories listed, they are eligible to pick a prize. The more books they read, the more prizes they are eligible for.

Prizes up for grabs include toys, photo albums, pencils, pens, notebooks, small tote bags, gift certificates, DVD movies and CDs.

Brown said library staff constantly promote literacy and seek new ways of getting people into the library. The challenge is just one way of doing that.

Readers of all ages are welcome to participate in the challenge. Last year’s youngest participant was a teenager and the oldest was a lady in her 80s.

“Everyone reads something different,” Brown said. “Every reading challenge will attract different people.”